Firsts, Lasts, and In Between



On the day Luke was born, my dear friend, Kayla, gave me this horrible book called Let Me Hold You Longer. It is just…the. worst. (But she is the best, and every time Luke hands it to me for a bedtime read…first, I cringe. And then I think of her. And then I rush through it between rapid blinks and quickly bury it under a stack of books.) Seriously, check it out. It will break you.CommonplaceThe book comes to mind as we wrap up these blessed preschool years with our firstborn. He came to us a total delight, and we three have had such fun in the last five years.


CommonplaceMeg White PhotographyCommonplaceKindergarten will be another great adventure. We believe that wrapped up in This Great Parenting Job is the big task of helping Luke find out just who God made him to be. For now, I’m thankful that God made him to say things like:

“Ah…this is the lifetime.” (feet propped, head back on the banks of the Missouri River)


“These goggles are pushing on my eyecaps [lids].”


“Mom, you are just wild.” (Ha!)


“I can definitely do that by myself. Definitely.”

…and to do things like:

mindlessly snap his fingers when he is nervous or really concentrating,

identify our garden veggies, thanks to Dad,

commit to ninja training – on our couches,

tell his grandma about school and dinosaurs and his esophagus,

still read whatever amount of books we arbitrarily tell him to read while we snooze some extra minutes (It has worked famously for years.),

eat s-l-o-w-l-y…”but not as slow as Gramps,”

get back on his bike after a wreck,

set aside some of his quarters for Baby S,

ask for “Duke, Ryle, and Togan” stories, and completely unrelated, have play dates with his cousins, Kyle and Logan,

“throw rocks in water,”

count down the days until school starts.

CommonplaceCommonplaceThis year is going to be life-changing for our five-year-old, but he is ready (and pumped) to face it all head-on. In his first year of school, he will go on his first airplane ride on his first international trip to meet his only sibling. Luke has never had the idea that he is an only child, and this is the year he will officially become a brother. As long as he can remember, we’ve talked about and prayed for “his brother or sister in Ethiopia.” Today, a stack of his kindergarten forms sits on the table next to his brother’s immigration forms. Frankly, it can all be a bit much. But we’re ready. It’s time.

Luke’s preschool years have been stacked with remarkable firsts, lasts, and, even better, all of that life in between. God gave us the gift of being around for each turn, and Nathan and I get how cool that is. We’re ready to give him a high five and send him off for his life’s next at Truman Elementary, sitting next to his buddy Paige.


Every month, we get an update on our other little guy. Last week, we received July’s report, and wouldn’t ya know, he’s knocking out some of his own big firsts.


We burst with the pride. Still, we’re not around to see that he is:

eating solid foods

sitting without assistance


easily holding large toys



Or to see what is making him grin from ear to ear.

But for both of our boys, God bless the future firsts, the lasts, and that middle part too. We’ll celebrate the heck out of it all.


Long ago you came to me, a miracle of firsts;
First smiles and teeth and baby steps, a sunbeam on the burst.
But one day you will move away and leave to me your past
And I will be left thinking of a lifetime of your lasts…

– Karen Kingsbury



Thanks, Kayla, for being my first mom friend. You are wonderful at both jobs, even if you do torment me with sentimental children’s literature. 😉




photography by Tai Photography, Meg White Photography, Bonnie Hall





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